Smiths - new crystal advice

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  1. #1
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    Smiths - new crystal advice

    Hi - I need a new crystal for my wife's Smiths watch, can anyone advise where/how I might track one down? As you can see it has a crack near the bottom, as shown in the photo.
    Does anyone know anything about this brand/watch model? It was given by British Rail as a retirement gift to my wife's grandfather after 45 years service. I understand the Jeweller shown on the presentation box took care of most of these retirement gifts for BR, including the engraving. I've also read that as time went on the quality of the movement was reduced to save cost, although continuing to use the same case. I'm new to watch collecting, so really don't know what I'm looking for in order to assess the quality of a movement. I've attached pics for feedback.
    Thanks for your help.
    Ian
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  2. #2
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Smiths - new crystal advice

    Its a 15 jewel so thats a good start, some of the cheaper movements had non or 5, obviously 15 is not as good has a 21 jewel movement. For the crystal you would need to measure the original then order from a supplier just type in google for watch crystals, but to be honest easier for a watch maker to order the part and fit it for you.

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Smiths - new crystal advice

    Nothing wrong with the movement - its a quality solid gold watch. Nice.

    From Information

    The first wristwatches to be produced by Smiths had nickel-finished plates, following Swiss and American practise. However, by 1951 Smiths had changed over to typically English looking frosted and gilded plates. They designated the new movement their ‘12.15’ calibre - 12 ligne in size (approximately 26 millimetres in diameter) and 15 jewels. This movement proved a great success for the firm and, marketed as their ‘De Luxe’ model from 1951, these watches became the standard by which Smiths later products were judged. Smiths gained much needed publicity when Sir Edmund Hillary wore a De Luxe watch on his historic ascent of Everest in 1953, a fact that became a staple part of future advertising campaigns.

    Strong and easy to service, these watches were liked by both the consumer and the trade, and came in a wide variety of case and dial designs. Smiths most expensive gold cased examples were sold with their own silk lined box complete with certificate. The 12.15 movement was also adapted to have centre-seconds work which was designated as Smiths 27.CS calibre. The added plate for the centre seconds work has two extra jewels, making 17 in total.

    The crystal is just a generic acrylic one. As Joe says, get a watchmaker to put one on for you. It should cost about £10.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
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    Smiths - new crystal advice

    I've no info to add, but just wanted to congratulate you on a very nice family heirloom. To me, probably any watch that came to me from previous generations would be appreciated, but doubly so if it's a piece that I might have choosen myself.
    This one would definitely be on my shortlist if I had a choice in heirlooms; I think it's very beautiful. Congrats!


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  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Smiths - new crystal advice

    Here is your movement with some specifications:

    bidfun-db Archiv: Uhrwerke: Smiths 12.15

    Hartmut Richter

  7. #6
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Smiths - new crystal advice

    very neat watch congrats
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  8. #7
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    Re: Smiths - new crystal advice

    Thanks for all the feedback, everyone, it's very helpful. I love this watch, and it's a treasured heirloom, so I'm delighted other people like it too! Just need to find a good local watchmaker (Oxford, uk) to take care of the crystal...

  9. #8
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    Smiths - new crystal advice

    He's not exactly local, but not too far away either; you could try Christian at http://watchguy.co.uk


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